Comments on: Test Your Glucose Levels with FreeStyle Tracker

TheraSense is now offering the FreeStyle Tracker Diabetes Management System, a glucose monitoring system Springboard module. It allows patients to test for glucose levels and get a read-out on the Visor's screen, graph and chart the results over time, review carbohydrate food lists to track their food intake, create reminders about testing or dietary choices, and more. It is available now for $150.
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I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 3:43:27 PM #
Pardon the sarcastic tone of my question but, Why the heck would any company in their right mind make any springboard peripherals, knowing full well that Handspring has completely abandoned this technology? And to top it off, no other pda maker has ever used or will ever use the springboard on any of their pdas.........
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 3:47:31 PM #
Why are people still making springboard modules when they arent being supported by the latest handsprings??? Does this mean that Handspring plans on releasing newer PDAs which support springboards?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 3:53:25 PM #
As the medical profession is highly conservative and *cheap*. There is a lot of of handsprings floating around in the market, and although they're not upgradable OS 3.1 or 3.5 will keep most non-geek folks happy for quite a while.

However, at $150.00 for the springboard isn't a bad price for a glucose meter. The fact that it will keep up to 2500 records (check the website for details) and be uploaded to a PC gives it a HUGE advantage over other meters.

My step-dad has a TRG pro, that I may swap my Visor Deluxe for to allow him to use this instead of having to use a normal meter. Also, with all the rebates on Prisms, plats, and such, and the fact that you can take medical devices as a tax write off, its a good time to get this for him.

As a former medical professional, I can assure you that his doctor will enjoy the idea his of being able to chart his sugar/insulin records over the course of a few months, and better understand his maintenance of his disease.

Hard to justify?
Midknyte @ 6/14/2002 3:54:15 PM #
$150 Springboard +
$150 [obsolete] Visor


Several standalone models with multi-test memory and averaging for under $75

I'm sure the Springboard module is pretty keen, but man what a price difference to be justified...

To answer both...
mikemusick @ 6/14/2002 3:55:27 PM #
Because this Springboard product, like most others, was in the R&D stage for many, many months, and then took as long or longer to get into production and then distribution.

When Handspring cr*pped on the market with Donna's little "non-announcment" last January, the company building this new product had the choice of completely throwing away the investment, or do what little was left to bring it all the way to market and attempt to recover at least some of their costs.

Technology consumers seem to be oblivious to the fact that new hardware takes a long time to develop. Small third party manufacturers have a difficult path - first they have to determine if the new platform has market acceptance, then they can start the motions of their own technology review. Once all the decision makers get on board and the funding is secured (internally or otherwise), then the actual development can start.

In other words, it will take most companies a year to 18 months to be comfortable with a new platform. Then add 3-6 months to walk an idea through management, and another 9-12 months to realize the product. Gee... 2-1/2 years, just about Handspring's lifetime in the market.

People on the consumer side of the PDA fence probably have no idea the number of Springboard products that were in some stage of development. Some were probably killed-off as a result of the non-announcement; in fact, I helped kill one off while advising another to "go ahead" (it was too deeply invested).

In some developer correspondence I've seen, Handspring is finally acknowledging the "vertical market" aspects of the Springboard concept. There may be life in the ol' boy yet.

RE: Question
imabug @ 6/14/2002 4:00:59 PM #
why not?

there are still plenty of Visors out there with functional springboard slots, and I'm sure lots of them could take advantage of this and other springboards. Handspring may be moving away from Springboards in their newest models, but that doesn't mean the existing visors and springboards have stopped working.

I for one plan to keep adding to my small module collection as long as my Visor is still working.

Version: 3.12
GS d-(+) s: a C++ UX++++V++S++ P+>+++ L>+++ E+>++ W++ N++(+++) o? K? w !O !M V-- PS PE Y+ PGP++ t++ 5++ X++ R+ tv++ b++(+++) DI++++ D+ G++ e+++>++++ h--- r+++ y?

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 4:20:01 PM #
Since its creation, the Visor has been between 15% and 20% of the handheld market. More than 20 million Palm OS handhelds have been sold. That means there are at least 3 million handhelds out there that could use this. That number is growing. Handspring is still selling Visors. Check their site. They are still making the Pro, Neo, and Edge.

I'd be willing to bet that plenty of people will buy a Visor and FreeStyle Tracker as a unit just to monitor their Diabetes, which is a disease that is very much on the rise. 17 million people, 6.2% of the entire U.S. population, have it.

RE: Question.. Long overdue.
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 4:30:54 PM #
there are many palm III and VII form factors still in use. For people who monitor several times a day and travel on business, having a springboard would be handy. One less thing to carry would be nice. For palms the same thing could be done similiar to the Palmpix attachmetn and sony memory sticks. I'm curious as to whether most of those who responded are diabetics. If you're not or not a health care professional, don't attempt to address an area you don't have a clue about. The average handheld users is not represented on this board. I'm talking about people who don't regularly upgrade their handhelds everytime a new model comes out.
RE: Question
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 5:12:55 PM #
As a diabetic who uses a Visor to track my bG's, insulin, food and exersize 6-8 times per day, I've been hoping to see a bG meter Springboard since I first got my Visor. One less thing to carry, especially on a long bike ride. I just the
software is good. I currently use GlucoPilot.

ThermaSense is not exactly a bit player. They are big on the meter market. Their FreeStyle is amoung the the best on the market.

Besides the usual R&D lag for products, medical diagnostic equipment takes a lot of time and effort to get past the FDA, even for a well troddened product like a blood glucose meter. I suspect the product was pretty much finished and awaiting FDA approval long before Handspring started hinting at doing away with the Visor line.

Meter manufacturers make their money on the strips, not the meters. Between rebates, trade-ins and sales, most bG meters available today can be had for free or nearly so. While the market for meter users and the market for Visor users each may be fairly larger, I can imagine that the overlap of those two markets is not very big. So instead of amortizing the R&D costs over the (increased) strip sales,
users are pretty much going to have to pay the real cost of the meter. Moreover, for this meter, there are no competitors.

I'll probably wait for a review. I'm not all that happy with the form factor, and I'd like to hear how the software measures up. I'm glad that a Co like ThermaSense has gone ahead with this, and not a startup. I hope (but don't expect) OneTouch and AccuChek make Springboard Modules too.

I think this is an interesting product, albeit a niche product. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

RE: Question
ardee @ 6/14/2002 5:14:57 PM #
Is this the only thing on the market that lets you sync your glucose readings to your PC?

I have an older Handspring and my fiancee is diabetic, so this might be a good thing to get for her, especially if there's no other (i.e., cheaper) way to get the numbers from a meter to a PC for analysis, graphing, etc.

RE: Question
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 5:42:47 PM #
Many meters can download to a PC. You have to get a cable from the meter company. They also have software, but there is a wide range of quality. There are some programs out there that will perform data analysis bG data from diffferent meters. Some are shareware, some are commercial.

for more info.

RE: Question
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 6:14:43 PM #
"My step-dad has a TRG pro, that I may swap my Visor Deluxe for to allow him to use this instead of having to use a normal meter."

Heh, maybe someone needs to make a Springboard to CF adaptor..

RE: Question
Coyote67 @ 6/14/2002 8:31:07 PM #
they have, theres about 3 different companys that make them.

When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.
RE: Question
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/15/2002 12:15:44 PM #
No, he said Springboard-to-CF adapter, not CF-to-Springboard adapter.

BTW aren't you the troll with the constant nonsensical sig's? I thought PIC finally got rid of you... :(

Why make peripherals for semi-dead and dead handhelds

devildoc @ 6/14/2002 6:25:11 PM #
As to why somebody would still make peripherals for a semi-dead technology?

Well, the Apple Newton [the best PDA ever made] were killed by Apple, what, in 1998 and they are still in use even though Apple no longer supports it. Governments use them for harrassing, I mean surveying, their citizens [Los Angeles County] and next time you're at a convention in the US take a look at what the booth holders are using to track their visitors [Newton with a brand new magnetic strip connector {hmm what idiot made the peripheral--oh wait they charged for it and received money in return for their product}]

All sarcasm aside:

With the advent of cheap expandable PalmOS devices [Handsprings], aftermarket devices would be a boon. I sure can't afford 40 new HandEras with glucometers or ECG monitors, but 40 Handspring Platinum's will fit my budget.

Is it possible?

ssummer @ 6/14/2002 7:26:25 PM #
Is it possible that some company could come out with a Springboard->SD or Springboard->CF adapter?

RE: Is it possible?
jonecool @ 6/15/2002 12:15:19 AM #
Sure is, it already exists. Check out There is a Springboard to SM, SD, CF, MemoryStick, etc. I have a MemPlug SM and CF. I use the CF on a weekly basis to use as a backup device and library of apps while on the road. Currently, it's stocked with a 192MB CF card I picked up at CompUSA. Memplug (PI) springboards rock!
RE: Is it possible?
big_raji @ 6/15/2002 12:25:01 AM #
I think he's referring to something that does the reverse, ie: using a springboard module with the palm m515's SD slot.

I think that if anything, you'll only see a Springboard adapter that clips to the bottom expansion port of a PDA. Popping a huge module and a springboard into an adapter anchored to a tiny SD slot doesn't seem very stable.

What's Wrong With This Picture?

RE: Is it possible?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/15/2002 12:42:36 AM #
Check out Springtooth, which makes Springboard modules available to any devices with Bluetooth. The only down-side to it is that it's not real...


I.M. Anonymous @ 6/15/2002 12:44:34 AM #
this is really cool. how much is it, and where can i register it?


PIC mobile user @ 6/15/2002 3:52:56 PM #
This is a very good idea and at $150, it's not that expensive (for a springboard module). Too bad it came out for a dead accessory series.
RE: Wow
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:06:46 AM #
Not too expensive? Most companies will GIVE AWAY the monitor because they make their money selling the test strips. I haven't purchased a monitor for my son in years. If they were to give the module away I'd buy a Visor to plug it in to, but for now, I'll just keep transferring the readings to a spreadsheet on my Clie.

Would like for sd/mmc

PIC mobile user @ 6/19/2002 7:57:37 AM #
I hope there is eventually a SD/ MMC version of this type of thing. I know someone who is a diabetic and owns a Palm m130.


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